Col. Chris Hadfield is a rock-star quality astronaut followed by millions of people–I am one of them. My first exposure came from a session his son Evan set up on Reddit late last year called “ask me anything”. A user, in regards to Hadfield being in space for five months, asked, “Won’t you be lonely?” Hadfield replied, “In the centre of every big city in the world, surrounded by noise and teeming millions of people, are lonely people. Loneliness is not so much where you are, but instead is your state of mind.” And it is that same insightful outlook that can be found throughout this book, AN ASTRONAUT’S GUIDE TO LIFE ON EARTH. (see p. 218 for a re-sharing).
Most of what people love about Hadfield appears here: him playing the guitar while looking out the cupola’s window; looking down upon the beauty of earth during a spacewalk; problem solving everyday situations that we take for granted here on earth. Hadfield relays the story of his life and tells of the obstacles he’s overcome, along the way laying down practical pieces of advice. He tells us to prepare for every possible scenario, work diligently toward our goal, and enjoy even the smallest pieces of life along the way.
Readers not already familiar with Hadfield, but are fans of space travel and life in space will still love this book. He remains true-to-form in this book, with the similar voice from YouTube videos and other online appearances. He talks about everything from clipping his nails to fixing a toilet while in space. Along with the mundane facts, come riveting adventures like traveling in the new Russian Soyuz (or better yet, the fear of coming back down) and walking out in space to fix a mission-threatening ammonia leak. Hadfield charmingly wraps it all together in his lush and descriptive writing (such as you may have already seen in the first few pages of this book’s preview).
So much of Hadfield’s love, wisdom, and charm is poured into these pages—it’s truly remarkable. If you are a fan of Col. Hadfield or of space in general, definitely give this book a try. Another suggestion: If you haven’t already seen Col. Chris Hadfield’s “Space Oddity” video on YouTube, go check it out. Special Thanks to Little, Brown and Company for fulfilling my request and sending me a review copy.